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In 1945–6 Berlin visited the Soviet Union; his meetings there with surviving but persecuted members of the Russian intelligentsia, particularly the poets Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak, reinforced his staunch opposition to Communism, and formed his future intellectual agenda. Although he continued to teach and write on philosophy throughout the later 1940s and into the early 1950s, his interests had shifted to the history of ideas, particularly Russian intellectual history, the history of Marxist and socialist theories, and the Enlightenment and its critics.

He also began to publish widely-read articles on contemporary political and cultural trends, political ideology, and the internal workings of the Soviet Union.

I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends.

While an undergraduate he was converted to the Realism of G.

In 1957, a year after he had married Aline Halban (née de Gunzbourg), Berlin was elected Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford; his inaugural lecture, delivered in 1958, was .

He resigned his chair in 1967, the year after becoming founding President of Wolfson College, Oxford, which he essentially created, retiring in 1975.

Despite early harassment by the Bolsheviks, the family was permitted to return to Riga with Latvian citizenship in 1920; from there they emigrated, in 1921, to Britain.

They lived in and around London; Isaiah attended St Paul’s School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he studied Greats (classical languages, ancient history, and philosophy) and PPE (politics, philosophy and economics). Ayer and Stuart Hampshire, all of whom met (with others) to discuss philosophy in Berlin’s rooms.

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